A$AP Rocky has pleaded not guilty to allegations he fired a gun at his former childhood friend in 2021.
The ‘Praise the Lord’ hitmaker – real name Rakim Mayers – is alleged to have fired a handgun at Terell Ephron, who is also known as A$AP Relli, causing minor injuries, but Rocky pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm in a court hearing on Monday.
The next hearing is due to take place on March 6, and a trial must take place within 45 days of that date.
Outside of the re-arraignment, Rocky’s defence lawyer Joe Tacopina insisted his client is “cool as a cucumber” ahead of the next hearing.
According to Rolling Stone, he said: “He’s a very strong character, a very strong individual.”
The attorney also said Rocky – who has two sons, RZA, 19 months, and Riot, five months, with pop singer Rihanna, 35 – is keen to get the trial “over with” so the star can focus on “enjoying his family”.
At a preliminary hearing in November, a Los Angeles judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for the rapper to stand trial following the alleged incident on November 6, 2021.
Superior Court Judge ML Villar said at the time “the totality of the video and testimony” showed there was enough evidence for the rapper to go to trial.
Tacopina said outside the court: “I am certain Rocky will be vindicated of all of this.”
In August 2022, Rocky pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault, just days after he was formally charged.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said at the time: “Discharging a gun in a public place is a serious offence that could have ended with tragic consequences not only for the person targeted but also for innocent bystanders visiting Hollywood.
“My office conducted a thorough review of the evidence in this case and determined that the addition of a special firearm allegation was warranted.”
Rocky was first arrested in April 2022 in connection with the incident after landing at Los Angeles Airport on a private plane with the ‘Umbrella’ hitmaker, just weeks before she gave birth.
He was released after a $550,000 (about R10.2-million) bail was posted.